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Find the perfect gift at Sora Iru in Yomitan Village
post : 2022.09.30 23:00
A gift box full of goodies to hand out to a bunch of people at the office and such can be great souvenirs, but if you’re looking for a gift for someone special, hop on over to Sora Iru, located in Yomitan Village.
Sora Iru is a “select shop” which offers a great selection of Okinawan goods and items that are perfect as thoughtful presents and gifts for that special someone.
The owner of the shop, Nagisa Arakaki, is originally from Yomitan Village but left Okinawa to go on to college. Then, after graduating, she worked for an apparel company for 12 years. Arakaki-san was always into fashion and was happy at her job, but after over a decade at the company, she felt it was time to move on. She had always wanted to start something of her own, so she decided to pursue her path and took the plunge, and left her job.
Arakaki-san shares, “When I was leaving my job at the company, I went around looking for thank-you gifts to give to people who were good to me, and many well-wishers also gave me various gifts. That inspired me to open up my shop. I thought, how wonderful it would be to have a shop in Yomitan Village where people can come and find the perfect gift for all occasions, like when people are leaving their positions, jobs, or gifts for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and other such special occasions.”
Sora Iru opened in September 2020, and currently offers a wide array of items created by about 20 artists who reside in Okinawa. The lovely merchandise found at the shop includes plates and dishes with cat motifs by Nyankoroya, and those by KAON Pottery which have expressions of marine life found in the waters of Okinawa, and ceramics with the essence of Okinawa’s nature from Maruka Pottery Studio, created with their original glaze.
Yachimun Candles created by Arakaki-san are also available at the shop
“I wanted to create something that delivered the uniqueness of Okinawa. I was always interested in candles and I even went to classes to learn how to make them. I think candles made with shells and hibiscus are lovely and I adore them, but I also thought they weren’t really me…” says Arakaki-san.
This led to her idea of the Yachimun Candle, made by pouring candle wax into Okinawa’s Yachimun pottery, created by talented craftsmen. Arakaki-san, who has always loved Yachimun, says, “Candles and Yachimun. At first glance, these two may not seem to connect, but once the dots were connected, the result was a beautiful line.”
The pottery pieces for the Yachimun Candles are created with care by artists Kohta Kuba, and by Sanae Ozawa of Nyankoroya. Each one has its unique beauty and no two are the same.
The flickering of a candle’s flame is said to have relaxing effects, and the flame also helps to rid unpleasant odors. If you’re feeling a little gloomy or anxious, why not light up a Yachimun Candle to soothe your spirit?
Once the candle is used up, the Yachimun can be used as a plant holder or to contain various items. Like the Yachimun Candle, the items you’ll find at Sora Iru are so charming that you’ll be tempted to pick something up as a reward for yourself and not just as special gifts from Okinawa for close friends and relatives.
When visiting Okinawa, be sure to stop by Sora Iru, where you’ll find all sorts of Okinawan creations carefully selected by Arakaki-san.
Address: 636 Zakimi, Yomitan Village, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa
Hours: 11:00 to 19:00
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Sachiko Tachi